Saturday, July 7, 2012

Five Guys vs. In-N-Out

Interesting discussion over at PJ Media about Five Guys versus In-N-Out. Allow me to chime in.

Here in Brentwood we have a Five Guys and an In-N-Out. Before we got our Five Guys, my wife made me drive all the way to Stockton just to try it because she'd heard how good it was. And it was. Five Guys makes a genuinely good burger. But is it better than In-N-Out? It is bigger and Five Guys offers the customer a wide range of toppings. But bigger is not necessarily better.

It is, however, more expensive. A hamburger, regular fries, and regular drink at the Brentwood FiveGuys will run you $11.18. Cut that amount in half and you have enough for the #1 combo at In-N-Out: a double-double, fries and a drink. And the burger you get at In-N-Out is easily as good, if not better, than what you get at Five Guys, even without all the optional toppings.

A word about fries. The fact that “Five Guys treats its fries like some sort of rare earth mineral," as Preston points out, raises expectations in the customer that the fries will actually be good. They are not. Yes, they are fresh, but that’s all they have going for them. A fry should be crisp. Five Guys fries are consistently soggy, like they’ve been steaming in those large drink cups in which they’re served. In-N-Out fries are also fresh, and occasionally offer the right texture. But they are not addictive, as a true fry should be: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with just the right amount of salt. My mouth is watering just thinking about it; my mouth never waters thinking about Five Guys or In-N-Out fries. Still, I would have to give the edge to In-N-Out.

Frankly, I wouldn’t call either burger the best in America. But ‘best’ is such a subjective term. Sometimes your body craves food that would never make it on a “best of” list. There is one burger, for example, that no trip to LA is complete without. Tommy’s.

No comments: